by Tammy Phillips
December 28, 2021
“A wise man’s heart [is] at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2 NKJV)
I was very close to all my grandparents in my early years. I adored and spent a lot of time with them. They were just the best. My Papa Lowe was left-handed. In the beginning I did a lot left-handed, but they encouraged me to use my right hand. Evidently, I struggled either writing or cutting left-handed with right-handed scissors. Papa Lowe wanted me to have every opportunity and to never have to struggle. He wanted me to be able to use the right-handed scissors and not be “left out.” He wanted me to be able to sit at the right-handed desks, left-handed ones were not made. My mother also said my teachers pushed me towards the right hand. My very best lifelong best friend, Pam Verma is left-handed, and she turned out just fine. She also rights upside down. I blame my clumsiness on the forced change.
Research suggests only about ninety percent of the world population is right-handed with the left being in the minority, ten percent. There has always been a bias against “lefties.” The bias has shown itself in cultures and that is why lefties were retrained.
“In many parts of the world, the left hand is considered unclean or rude to use. If you’re left-handed and visiting places like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Middle East, it’s thought of as rude behavior to eat, pick up or hand over things with your left hand. In Britain in the Middle Ages, lefties were associated with the devil and often accused of the crime of witchcraft, meaning they would get burned at the stake.” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/53739189)
Language proves that the “left” are not “shown the love.” In French, “gauche” can mean “left” or “clumsy.” (See I told you!) In English the word ‘left’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘lyft’, meaning ‘weak’. The word the word “sinister” actually comes from the Latin word “left.” The German word “linkisch” (related to the left) means “awkward.” In Mandarin Chinese, words synonymous with “left” are “wrong” and “incorrect.” In English, “right” is synonymous with “correct or to be right.”
Are these thoughts what fueled the thoughts of Solomon? This verse is in the Bible and for a purpose.
A wise man’s
An intelligent man’s
A cunning man’s
A skillful man’s
A shrewd man’s
A crafty man’s…
inner man is at …
his right hand
his right side
right of direction
south (the direction of the right hand facing east)
to choose the right
to go to the right
to be right
inner man is at …
his left side
his left of direction
his north (the direction of the left hand facing east)
“his left being covered and wrapped in outer garment thrown over left shoulder; and the right hand on the contrary was called right because it was given as the pledge of faithfulness in promises.” Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon
I believe Solomon was simply telling us to follow our heart in the “right” direction, do not follow it to the left or wrong direction. Our “inner man” will lead us the “right” way.
I enCOURAGE you to follow your heart into the New Year. Listen to your inner man. If you are born again and a believer in Christ, follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. He will guide you in the “right” way.
“A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2 NLT)
“A wise person’s heart goes to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. ” (Ecclesiastes 10:2 CSB)